[OS X TeX] Memory size exceeded

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Tue Oct 27 20:51:22 CET 2020

Hi David, and Luis

On 28 Oct 2020, at 6:18 am, Luis Sequeira <lfsequeira at gmail.com<mailto:lfsequeira at gmail.com>> wrote:

It may actually be the case that the memory was exceeded, though I haven't come across this in several years.
But it may also be the result of some obscure typesetting error.

This is by far the most likely, …

  … but not necessarily so obscure.

It is quite easy to use a macro (control-sequence name) incorrectly, resulting in an expansion loop.
Because it is then unstoppable, memory will get filled up, resulting in the “capacity exceeded” error.
Any Computing 101 student will know that an infinite loop is the most likely result from arbitrary
code processing. This is likely what is happening here.

In particular,  \tikzexternalize{…}   requires an argument.
So whatever token is coming next will be taken as that argument,
and most likely this totally throws out the intended document processing.

Check the documentation on what is required with use of this command.

I assume you have your work divided into several files (presumably one per chapter of the book?).

Are you able to typeset if you do some chapters separately using \includeonly?

If you are able to typeset everything in pieces this way, then it suggests it is "actual" capacity exceeded. Otherwise, which chapter errs out?

There is some arcane way to grant TeX more memory, if necessary. I'd have to look it up.

That’s highly unlikely these days.
Memory is cheap, so the TeX default settings far exceed what most jobs would require.

Hope this helps.


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Dr Ross Moore
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